The time is here where everything seems to go too fast and before we know it we wrapping presents the night before Christmas and forgetting where we put the tape! This is also the time of year we get focused on the wrong things. For a lot of people it can be a hard and lonely time of the year, where we feel far from God, or out of focus on the good things all around us. The time of year where we don’t even have the energy to think about our faith and pick up a bible. Its the time of year we wished the next day would come, and the next morning, and the next cup of coffee. To say the least, its a trying time!
During this time you may even feel like “where are you God?” Sometimes we just take Him for granted in this season and have another glass of wine. This season we are not going to let life sway us around like it has every year! Today we are going to talk about how to focus in on God-even when we don’t feel like it. I’m believing this is for someone today that knows what they are up against or someone that has lost focus on God this last year.
We all yearn for a faith that is somehow reachable when we need it, but sometimes that very same yearning is what pushes us around like Fall leaves on a crispy day. Today were choosing to put God first and come up with a battle plan on how to access our faith all through the Winter.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember where we put our faith (much like tape) and it’s only when we start to take inventory of all the ways God has shown up for us, that we become more in focus. We don’t need things to go bad before we start to focus on our faith. This isn’t how God want’s us to live, in fact, he want’s us to stand firm in our faith. Firm in our faith-even when life is pushing us around or putting us down! The first thing God calls us to do is to armor up with His word. What I want to speak from today is a verse in Philippians and it’s just a reminder of what we should be focused on.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.Philippians 4:8
We have to bring into focus that our faith through this season is not only a choice, but also an action. I don’t believe one exists without the other. When we choose faith, we take actions like to step-out or focus-in. Essentially, we are taking actions when we choose faith over fear. This is something that we decide to do and also do it. We are truly and fully opening our hearts to God during this season. I invite you to opening your heart to God this season and throughout the season, by choosing to armor up with His word. Maybe it’s one of these bible verses you need to write down to remind yourself daily or it’s just opening up your bible at night.
Sometimes we won’t all get what we want this season or it looks nothing like what you thought it would. Either way, we can be reminded of how God uses these times to humble us or remind us of what we really need. Have you ever looked back and thought “thank God I was kept from that job”, or “thank God I didn’t date a certain someone”. Our Father knows exactly what we need and what we don’t need, so we can take comfort in knowing His will.
Sometimes faith can be exercised by actually waiting on God. God is sometimes in the waiting as much as the wanting. So before we start our list, we need to need to be sure we are walking with God first. What this may look like is picking up the Bible, serving at a church, helping a neighbor, or quitting an addiction that you know isn’t aligned with who Gods called you to be. Sometimes this season of waiting can be one that brings you closer to family. When we are reminded to wear His word this season, we can begin to be a blessings to others during a hard time. We can’t do this if we ourselves are not remembering the reason for this season.
God saved you by His grace when you believed and you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.Ephesians 2:8
When we start to feel far from God, out of focus, or forgetful on His grace this season, we can start believing lies about ourselves. This is the exact time you need to pull out that comfy sweater of faith and grace and read about His promises. Maybe you need to lift up your voice in worship in the car or do whatever needed to remember who is near. Get reminded of where your help comes from and bring your savior back into focus this season.
Remember that even though we can feel far from God, we can still reach out towards Him. We can write a battle plan for when we feel consumed, or set aside a moment for prayer. God want’s us to have a battle plan and He’s given us the tools. From this blurry flurry this season, we can step into something different, a true relationship with our creator. Don’t focus on the madness around you and be consumed by it, but choose to focus on the goods.